Weekly Official e-Newsletter of Nepal Tourism Board
June 07, 2013
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Resilience in Visitor Arrivals
The month of May 2013 saw resilience in visitor arrivals after decline in the month of March and April, 2013. The figures released by Immigration Office, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) reveal that visitor arrivals in the month of May 2013, compared to the same month last year, have increased by 3.1% to 44,156.
Arrivals from Asia (other than South Asia) have also recorded healthy growth of almost 48% in aggregate. There has been growth of 43.6% in visitor arrivals from China which is one of the fastest growing tourist markets for Nepal. Visitor arrivals from Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Thailand have registered a positive growth of 5.6%, 142.7%, 40.9%, and 47.1% respectively. However, visitor arrivals from Singapore have registered marginal negative growth of 3% only.
The arrivals from South Asian region have recorded negative growth of 8.1% with Bangladesh (12.7%) and Sri Lanka (27.4%) registering positive growth. Visitor arrivals from India, which is the largest source market for Nepal witnessed a decline of 9.5%. Visitor arrivals from Pakistan have also declined by 21.2%.
European markets registered negative growth of 3.3% with major destinations showing mixed reaction in terms of visitor arrivals. Arrivals from France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and Sweden are up by 3.6%, 0.4%, 19.8%, 9.7%, 33.6% and 29.8% respectively while arrivals from the UK, Denmark, Spain, Italy and Russia have recorded negative growth of 1.7%, 38.3%, 19%, 12.5% and 11.1% respectively.
Tourist arrivals from USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have increased by 17.3%, 12.7 %, 21.1% and 10.8% respectively.
Nepal celebrated Mt. Everest Diamond Jubilee on May 29 remembering the two heroic souls: Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary amidst a grand function. This was a special occasion in the world history of mountaineering. The Nepalese tourism stakeholders will cherish the jubilant and festive-mood that saw series of events organised marking the 60th anniversary. The celebration has given Nepal an unprecedented opportunity to promote Nepal as one of the best adventure destinations in the planet through international media that came to Nepal to attend this event.
A total of 58,195 foreign tourists departed from TIA in May 2013. The number of Nepalese arrivals stood at 63,250 while 83,179 Nepalese departed from TIA in May 2013.
Minister Shrestha attended Everest Nepal Exhibition in Tokyo
Mr. Ram Kumar Shrestha, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Youth and Sports, and Peace and Reconstruction, who came here on May 31 in connection with the inauguration of the Everest Nepal Exhibition that was held at Tokyo Tower in Tokyo on June 01 – 02, had several bilateral meetings today in Tokyo.
The Everest Nepal Exhibition held to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the conquest of the world’s highest peak, Mount Sagarmatha by Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa of Nepal on May 29, 1953, was jointly inaugurated by Hon. Minister Shrestha, Madam Kumiko Hashimoto, spouse of late Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, and veteran Sagarmatha hero, Mr. Uichiro Miura, on June 01.
The closing function of the Diamond Jubilee of the ascent of Mount Sagarmatha on June 02 was attended by another veteran alpinist, Mrs. Junko Tabei who is the first woman to scale Mount Sagarmatha in 1975 and the first female to scale seven summits in all the continents in 1992. A travel tour delegation from Nepal led by Ashok Pokhrel also took part in the exhibition that was attended by Nepalese and Japanese travel and tour operators, veteran mountaineers and thousands of Japanese nationals and members of the Nepalese diaspora in Japan.
Hon. Shrestha had a bilateral meeting with HE Mr. Minoru Kiuchi, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During the meeting, Hon. Shrestha thanked the Government and the people of Japan for their continued support for Nepal’s socio-economic development, conservation and development of Lumbini, sacred birthplace of Lord Buddha, institutionalization of peace and democratization of the country.
He further highlighted the importance of tourism in Nepal and thanked for the support of the Government of Japan in up gradation of facility at the Tribhuvan International Airport. Hon. Shrestha raised the issue for further renewal of Air Service Agreement between Nepal and Japan and stressed on the need for having direct air services between Tokyo and Kathmandu. HE Mr. Kunio Takahashi, Ambassador of Japan to Nepal, and senior officials of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, had joined the meeting from Japanese side.
HE Mr. Kiuchi stressed the importance of bilateral relationship between Japan and Nepal. He told that Japan was very keen to support Nepal on her pursuance of the policy of enhancing the pace of socio-economic development and hoped that the Constitution Assembly election would pave the way for Nepal’s rapid advancement, political stability and full-fledged democratization.
Similarly, Hon. Shrestha had a bilateral meeting with HE Yosuke Tsuroho, Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister for Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan. During the meeting, issues related to tourism promotion between Nepal and Japan and their importance for bilateral relations were discussed.
Hon. Shrestha also had a bilateral meeting with HE Mr. Toshihiro Nikai, President, Japan-Nepal Parliamentary Friendship League, and a ranking leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). During the meeting, Mr. Nikai recalled his experience on Nepal and in particular the tourism promotion between two countries. He wished continued peace, progress and progress of Nepal and expressed his desire to visit Nepal in the near future. Hon. Shrestha appreciated enhanced cooperation of Japan for Nepal’s development endeavours and wished to welcome Mr. Nikai in Kathmandu very soon. He also requested for Mr. Nikai’s co-operation in promoting Japanese investments in Nepal. During the meeting, some important LDP members of parliament like Mr. Tadahiko Ito, Mr. Kado Hirofumi and Mr. Motou Kimura were also present.
Hon. Shrestha also had a bilateral meeting with HE Mr. Nobuo Kishi, Member, House of Representatives and Chief of Foreign Affairs Department of the LDP. The LDP is the biggest political organization in Japan and has been ruling the country for most of the period in the post-War period. The party was out power from 2009 to 2012 and the LDP under the leadership of Mr. Shinzo Abe came back to power with a big majority in the November 16, 2012 elections. During the meeting, matters related to bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest were discussed. Son of former Foreign Minister Shintaro Abe and grandson of former Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, the influential LDP leader is also the younger brother of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Mr. Madan Kumar Bhattarai, Ambassador of Nepal to Japan, and Mr. Tapas Adhikari, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Nepal, Tokyo were present on all the meetings with Hon. Mr. Shrestha. The Hon. Minister is to return home tomorrow.
Nepalese Embassy participated Daegu Gyengbuk Tour Expo
With the objective of promoting Nepal in Korea, the Embassy of Nepal participated in the 11th Daegu Gyengbuk Tour Expo 2013 held at Gyeongju World Culture Expo Park from April 11 to 14, 2013. During the Tour Expo, the Nepali booth which was decorated with colourful banners and posters depicting various tourism products and promotional materials distributed was visited by many local and foreign visitors. The local tour and travel operators also visited the Nepal booth and took keen interest in Nepalese tourism products.
The Tour Expo was held in Gyeongju, one of the popular tourist destinations of Korea, at the beginning of spring season where the scenic beauty of Gyeongju was enchanting by the blooming Cherry flowers and budding greenery in the vicinity. A large crowd also enjoyed taste of colourful cultural performances presented by participating countries and culinary at the venue of the exhibition. Nepalese food items were also served during 4 days tourism exposition.
The Expo, which was organized by Daegu Metropolitan City and sponsored by Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Korea Tourism Organization, Korea Tourism Association and Korean Air, was participated by 34 countries and 189 local organizations.
World Environment Day observed
A rally was organised in Chalnakhel of Kathmandu on June 5 on the occasion of the 40th World Environment Day.
The rally started from Champadevi Secondary School, Bosan, concluded after reaching Khahare after going through Ward No. 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the Chalnakhel VDC. The rally was organised with an objective of creating awareness in environment protection, state-owned news agency RSS reports.
Meanwhile, in Baglung, the District Soil Conservation Office, Baglung planted saplings and cleaned up the premises of Kalika Bhagawati Temple on the occasion of the World Environment Day.
A total of 235 saplings of various species were planted where Chief District Officer, Balglung Mahadev Pant, other government officials, representatives of NGOs, leaders of political parties and civil society were present, according to the District Soil Conservation officer, Binod Gyawali.
Similarly, police personnel of the District Police Office cleaned the premises of the temple.
On the occasion, participants of the programme stressed that all should pay attention in maintaining balance between human beings and environment.
Likewise, in Pokhara, 200 saplings of different species were planted at Pokhara-based Belghari Khaharepakha hill today.
The programme was organised by the Eco Club of Chhorepatan Higher Secondary School on the occasion of the World Environment Day.
The saplings were provided by the District Forest Office, Kaski, free of cost.
Govt raises insurance cover for mountaineering workers
The government has significantly increased personal accident insurance coverage for people involved in the mountaineering sector, keeping in view the growing incidence of accidents in mountaineering expeditions.
According to officials of Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA), the minister level meeting held May 28 amended the provision on individual accidents insurance and compensation as well as emergency rescue enshrined in Mountaineering Regulations 2002.
As per the fresh amendment, accident insurance coverage for liaison officers, who accompany mountaineering teams to the base camp of the concerned peaks, has been increased from Rs 600,000 to Rs 800,000. Similarly, accident insurance coverage for Sardar and mountain guides has been doubled to one million rupees. Insurance cover for high altitude workers has also been raised to Rs 1 million from existing Rs 400,000.
The newly amended regulation has provisioned personal accident insurance of Rs 800,000, up from existing Rs 350,000, for those working in base camp areas. Workers in lower altitude can claim personal accident insurance of Rs 500,000, up from existing Rs 250,000.
Similarly, medical insurance for liaison officers and all workers have been raised to Rs 300,000 from existing Rs 50,000.
The officials said the new provisions will be implemented from January 1, 2014. They, however, have requested the agencies concerned to voluntarily raise insurance coverage for workers on expedition teams organized before January 1.
The government has also raised emergency rescue, including airlifting of dead bodies, insurance to US$ 10,000 from existing $4,000.
TAAN to explore new trekking routes in Khaptad
A seven-member team of Trekking Agencies´ Association of Nepal (TAAN) is embarking on an exploration trip to Khaptad National Park in the far-western region on Friday.
According to a press statement issued on Wednesday, the team comprises of photographer, cartographer, report writer, TV crew and local media persons along with support staff.
Rana Bahadur Khadka, first vice president of TAAN, said the exploration will begin from Talcha Airport in Mugu. "We will explore a new trekking trail to enter Khaptad National Park. We will then promote the trail by publishing maps, itinerary and a documentary film,” Khadka said in the statement.
From Talcha airport, the team will head toward Bajura via Sirkot, Sukhadhik and Kolti. Then it will enter Khaptad National Park. The journey will then progress toward Tamail, Budhakholi, Baaisdhara, Surmasarobar, Dhulichaur and Chainpur before ending at Dhangadhi.
This is the first time that TAAN is exploring new trekking trails in the far-western region. TAAN completed exploration of new trekking trail in Humla and Mugu in April. Last year, it explored Lumba-Sumba area in the Kanchanjunga region, Lower Manaslu in the Manaslu region, Ruby Valley in the Ganesh Himal area and Dolpo in the mid-western region, according to the statement.
Meanwhile, TAAN organized a tree plantation program at Alleban in Kavresthali VDC-9 on Wednesday to celebrate World Environment Day. "Around 500 saplings of different tree species were planted in Alleban Devisthan Martyrs Memorial Park. More than 100 people, including TAAN executive committee members, staffers, representatives of different trekking agencies, officials of Alleban Devisthan Martyrs Memorial Park Management Committee, members of local Ama Samuha and locals, participated in the program," said the statement.
The plantation program is a part of TAAN´s initiative of making tourism sustainable, TAAN General Secretary Mohan Lamsal said in the statement.